‘JO’ gets player of year, others also honored

michael modahl

MICHAEL MODAHL (No. 24) of Sheboygan Christian made first-team all-conference. – Photo by Chris Hendrikse

To no surprise, Jacob Ognacevic was tabbed the Big East Conference boys basketball player of the year for the second consecutive season.

Around the same time the all-league team was recently announced, the Sheboygan Lutheran senior was also selected to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s Division 5 all-state team.

“It’s really cool,” Ognacevic said. “That was two of my goals heading into the season and it’s nice that I achieved that.”

Three other Crusaders also made all-Big East, including first-teamer Casey Verhagen, who like his teammate also made all-state and was a second team selection last year.

Junior Jonah Jurss earned second-team honors thanks to averages of 9.4 points, 4.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds.

Sophomore Robby Michael received honorable mention all-conference, as he was third on the squad in scoring (10.7), rebounding (3.5) and assists (2.9).

CHRISTIAN’S MODAHL REWARDED: Michael Modahl was one of only two sophomores – Verhagen was the other – to make the first team.

“It was great,” Modahl said. “I was not expecting it really, but I was very excited when I found out. And I’m excited for what the future has for me. Hopefully next year and my senior year we can win more games and maybe make a run in the playoffs.”

Modahl, who has started his first two years on varsity, led his team in scoring (21.1 points per game) for the second season in a row. Last year, he scored 12 points an outing.

Eagles’ coach Brett Flipse says Modahl is very difficult to guard.

“Being a small forward, he’s got size at 6-3,” he said. “He handles the ball, we give him a lot of guard responsibilities, he can also post up a smaller guard if they decide to go that route. He’s got a lot of talent.”

Modahl was also one of only two returning starters for Christian.

“As a freshman starting on varsity, the first 10 games he probably averaged 4 points a game,” Flipse said. “The second half of his freshman year, he probably had six 20-point games. And I think at that point you realize that this is something he can do. He just started to apply himself at that point and it just took off from there.”

SOUTH GETS TWO ON ALL-FRCC: Josh Govek landed on the all-Fox River Classic Conference first team – he also made all-state (Division 1) – and teammate Marcell Drone got second-team honors.

Govek capped his fourth year on varsity – he started the last three – by finishing as runner-up in the league’s player-of-the-year voting. He made the first team as a junior, second team as a sophomore and received honorable mention as a freshman.

This season, Govek set the school record for most assists in a career, and had the most free throws and steals in a game.

Last season, he set South’s all-time scoring record that had stood since 1977.

“He’s certainly one of the very top players I’ve coached in my tenure,” Redwings’ coach Jesse Shaw said.

Shaw also feels Govek is extremely humble despite all of his accomplishments.

“Which is his greatest attribute, I think,” he said.

Govek’s passion for the game is what stands out as well.

“If you were to just look at him, he’s 5-10 and maybe 150 pounds, but his passion for the game I think is what separates him,” Shaw said. “He’s got some foot speed, some quickness, court vision is superior to most. And he doesn’t just shoot threes. Even more so, he takes it to the rack, which is not that easy at 5-10 in our league. So for him to be able to have the outside and inside game I think is pretty impressive.”

Drone, a junior, was also one of five FRCC players who were tabbed to the all-defensive squad.

He ranked second among Redwings with 15.1 points per game, and his average of 11.0 rebounds was tops in the league. He also had the most blocks in the Fox River Classic.

“For him to reach both those goals, that was impressive for him,” Shaw said. “He got better as the year went on, that’s for sure.”

NORTH’S KRAUS GETS PICKED: Senior Golden Raider Turner Kraus made all-FRCC honorable mention by averaging 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Last year, he was ninth on the team in scoring but South had to replace 10 seniors.

So Kraus became one of the leaders and top defender on coach Eric Worth’s team.

“He’s going to do whatever it takes,” he said. “He’s willing to guard anybody no matter their size, quickness, etc. He wants to keep and wants to win. Whether that’s him locking up on defense or scoring 15 points for us or dishing the ball to another shooter.”

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